While fiber optic Internet access has proven effective for most regular connections, its value in manufacturing may be a little less obvious. Several new technologies, from big data to videoconferencing, have emerged in recent years that make fiber access vital to the future of manufacturing.
Fiber and Big Data Analytics
Big data analytics systems allow businesses to take a large amount of data and condense it down into patterns. These patterns then form the basis of what are called “actionable insights,” or “things we can do based on what we know.”
Actionable insights can come from almost anywhere. For manufacturing, businesses can discover what items sell best in what areas, and can use that information to adjust production schedules. Raw materials procurement can also harness analytics to determine the best times to buy certain materials.
Not surprisingly, that kind of analysis requires a lot of data to move around, which means the faster the data can be handled, the faster patterns and insights can be generated. Fiber allows data to be handled rapidly, and can open up the field of big data to more users in general. (1)
Fiber and the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) represents a variety of different devices that are all interconnected, forming what amounts to a physical Internet–as the name suggests–instead of the wholly software-constructed version we all know today.
Devices on the IoT can range from cameras to sensors to even certain appliances like an Internet-capable refrigerator. The devices involved can track everything from the location of a delivery van in progress to the location of parts in a warehouse, all vital operations for a manufacturing operation.
Increasingly, users are discovering that fiber connectivity is the necessary path to get the IoT up and running. The city of Chattanooga recently discovered as much (2) in establishing its own gigabit fiber system to power a smart power grid.
Fiber and Videoconferencing
Anyone who’s used videoconferencing lately knows it’s a technology that has a fairly large benefit set. It allows for better connectivity within an organization and easy reporting between branch offices, and partially replaces business travel. (3)
Here, connectivity is directly related to user experience; using a poor quality connection results in a poor-quality experience. Turning to fiber, therefore, offers some of the best connectivity with the lowest signal latency, which produces the best experience.
Fiber and Your Business
That was just a quick look at some of the major benefits a manufacturing operation can enjoy from fiber connectivity. Those interested in learning more and getting involved with fiber should contact Innovative Business Solutions. We are more than ready to provide insight and even connectivity where available.